In today’s landscape of medical practice changes, doctors managing private practices have many things to overcome, including the expansive changes due to Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). Add to these changes increasing costs and changes in payment rates, and one can see why some doctors are throwing up their hands and turning to hospital buyouts and hospital employment to help manage costs.
Hospitals are able to provide equipment, help with administrative responsibilities, pay malpractice insurance and more effectively negotiate with insurers. As well, they are able to treat more Medicare patients by supplementing costs by referring patients to other in hospital services such as labs and diagnostic services. But the big monopolies that are forming are just not right for many doctors and with some technological aid they are successfully managing their practices and even thriving in this time of increasing costs and typically lower profitability.
The AMA reports that only 40% of family doctors and pediatricians remain independent and the Affordable Care Act can make it more difficult. But there are many noteworthy ways to remain independent by running a lean practice. Technology makes the Micropractice (which is where a practice is scaled down to just a doctor and a computer) and Telemedicine possible and both of these types of practices are growing. McKesson Practice Choice and Medisoft EMR are two great medical billing software options for the smaller practice.
Technology also helps the larger practice run lean. Electronic medical records software such as Greenway Primesuite and practice management software can lower costs and increase efficiency for the entire practice. The lowering cost of computing, in general, means that these options are more affordable today then ever before. Renting space can be a financial barrier but due to electronic record storage, the physical space that many practices need is quite reduced thereby reducing their overhead.
While it can be tough to stay independent, there are many options and tools that make it more affordable. Medisoft Clinical and Lytec MD are just two examples of electronic medical records software that will help private practices thrive despite today’s profound changes.